Adelina Aguayo Sorkin, LCSW/ACSW
Adelina “Nina” Sorkin is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She received her undergraduate and graduate degrees from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA). Nina was honored by the UCLA School of Social Welfare as Alumni of the Year. She has received many other awards including Child Care Information Service, Community Housing Services, United Way of the San Gabriel Valley Region, and American Cancer Society among others. For the past 45 years Nina has worked in the public and private sector. In 1998 Supervisor Gloria Molina appointed Nina to the Los Angeles County Commission for Children and Family Services. During her tenure on the Commission, she has chaired the Commission four years. Currently she chairs the Commission’s Wellness Committee and represents the Commission on the Systems Leadership Team and the Childcare Roundtable. She also served as a Commissioner on the Los Angeles City Commission on the Status of Women for ten years. Nina is actively involved with the American Cancer Society Relay For Life as well as other community endeavors. As a MOTHEREAD instructor, Nina has stressed the importance of literacy by volunteering reading to children at several non-profit organizations. In 2007 and 2008, Nina chaired Relay For Life in Pasadena and has served as Survivor Chair at the Downtown and Griffith Park Communities in 2009, 2010, 2011, and 2012. Recently she was named a Hero of Hope for the American Cancer Society.
Steven Olivas, Esq.
Steven M. Olivas was appointed to the Commission by Supervisor Gloria Molina in May 2008. He currently serves on the Children's Planning Council. He earned a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley, and a Juris Doctorate from Columbia University School of Law. While at Columbia Law School, Steve served as a Teaching Assistant of the Prisoners and Families Clinic where he provided legal advice to incarcerated parents so that they could preserve their parental rights with their children and maintain intact family units while in prison and post-release. He was also a Constitutional Law Teaching Fellow and a member of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review, a legal journal featuring articles on contemporary human rights and civil liberties issues in the United States and around the world. In 2002, Steve returned to Los Angeles and practiced law at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges, the largest business litigation law firm in the nation. In 2005, Steve joined the administration of Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as Policy Director for Public Safety and Homeland Security. In this capacity, Steve is responsible for developing and directing the Mayor’s public safety and homeland security policy agenda and serves as the Mayor's liaison to the Los Angeles Police Department. An active member of his community, Steve serves as the Chairman of the Board of the First United Methodist Church of Pasadena. He is also a mentor to students at Whittier High School, his alma mater. Recognized for his keen ability to relate to youth and adolescents, Steve is a frequent motivational speaker to L.A. County high school students.
Martha Trevino Powell
Martha Trevino Powell was appointed to the Commission for Children and Families in March 2008. She is a retired school educator and administrator with over forty-one years of educational and administrative experience. She holds degrees in Education as well as in Business Administration. Ms. Powell has been a member of numerous professional, civic and community organizations and the recipient of many awards for her distinguished work in the field of education. Ms. Powell considers her appointment to the Commission an extraordinary privilege and opportunity to make a positive impact on the lives of the children and youth of Los Angeles County.
Dr. La-Doris McClaney
Dr. La-Doris McClaney is an Entrepreneur/Philanthropic, Motivational Speaker, Writer and Lecturer. She was appointed to the Commission in August 2001. She currently serves on the Commission’s Faith Based Committee. She acquired her Bachelor of Arts degree from Shaw University, Masters Degree in Public Administration from Pepperdine University, Doctor of Humane Letters from Shorter College and Bethune Cookman College. Commissioner McClaney serves on many Boards and has been the recipient of over 500 Resolutions and Accommodations. She most recently received the Rosa Parks Award; Southern Christian Leadership Conference, Outstanding Community Service Award; LA Probation Department, Woman of the Year; LA Mass Youth Choir, Certificate of Appreciation; Senator Barbara Boxer, Lifetime Achievement; Mayor Mark Egerman of Beverly Hills, Dedication of Public Service; Senator Kevin Murray, Committed Service to The Links, Inc.; Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, Certificate of Recognition; Councilman Bernard Parks, Outstanding Service. Publications: “God I Listened” (The Eula McClaney Story), 1989.
Daphne Ng was appointed to the Commission in May 2012. She currently works for Southern California Edison in the Stakeholder Engagement Customer Service Section. Commissioner Ng works closely with business and community-based organizations on community issues, mainly focused in education, environment and the underserved population. She has over 16 years of experience in private and non-profit arenas. Commissioner Ng is a long-time advocate on community services and family issues, and is passionate about developing and implementing community-based changes to improve lives of children and women. Commissioner Ng is well connected with many community service organizations and is an effective organizer and innovative leader. She has always been very passionate about developing and implementing the promise of social venture philanthropy, by linking charitable donors to the extraordinary needs in the community. Commissioner Ng has been involved in education, social justice, mentoring, and community service her entire working life. Currently, she is the Executive Director of the Asian American Professional Association, a non-profit community service organization with a focus on a mentoring program for Asian American professionals. In addition, Commissioner Ng sits on the advisory board of the Asian Pacific American Legal Center and keeps busy organizing multiple community and corporate events. Various awards received by Commissioner Ng include the Woman of the Year Award from YWCA in the San Gabriel Valley, the Top Ten Outstanding Young Professionals, a Community Service Award, and the Trail Blazer Award for her achievements and contribution to the community. Daphne earned her B.S. in Finance from the University of Southern California in 1991. She is currently pursuing her MBA in Management at Claremont Graduate University.
Carol Oughton Biondi
Appointed to the Commission in 1999 by Zev Yaroslavsky, Commissioner Carol Oughton Biondi has chaired and served on several Commission committees that focus on the issues of “crossover” youth, youth that move from dependency to delinquency. Commissioner Biondi’s contributions focus on children and juvenile justice issues through organizations in Washington D.C., New York City and Southern California. She currently serves on the boards of the Children’s Defense Fund, United Friends of The Children, New Visions Foundation, Homeboy Industries, and the Loyola Law School Center for Juvenile Law and Policy. She has also served on the Juvenile Justice Coordinating Council, the L.A. Conservation Corps, the Universal Pre-School Advisory Committee, the Leake and Watts Child Care Agency Board and was appointed by Governor Davis to the California Child Welfare Re-Design Stakeholders Group. Over the past several years she has worked to develop a best practices model at Camp David Gonzales, a probationary camp for juveniles run by the L.A. County Probation Department. She was appointed by Governor Schwarzenegger to the Corrections Standards Authority (formerly the California Board of Corrections) in February 2006.
Susan Friedman has been a network news producer for NBC network for more than 24 years, most recently producing hours for NBC’s flagship series, Dateline. She has also produced specials for NBC anchor Tom Brokaw.
An Emmy-award winning producer, Susan Friedman has extensive experience in domestic and foreign news coverage, in both breaking news and feature reporting. She has contributed to Nightly News and the Today Show, covering everything from cultural stories to politics. She has also reported from Bosnia, Northern Ireland, Turkey and Vietnam.
In 2002 Susan was awarded a Knight Fellowship and took a six month leave of absence to train journalists in Romania, Slovakia and Hungary. Through the International Center for Journalism she has continued working with journalists in developing democracies: 2003 in the Balkans and 2004-5 in Georgia and Azerbaijan. She is currently a Commissioner on the Los Angeles County Commission for Children and Families, the Media Advisory Board of Women for Women International, which provides training and education for women in war-ravaged countries. She is also a founding board member of the Alliance for Children’s Rights, which provides free legal services for Los Angeles’ foster and poor children.
Helen A. Kleinberg
Helen Kleinberg has served on the Commission as a Third District appointee since its inception in 1984. She was a member of the 1983 Board appointed Children’s Services Task Force which recommended the creation of the Department of Children and Family Services and the Commission for Children and Families.
Ms. Kleinberg is a teacher by profession, obtaining her Bachelor of Arts degree and teaching credentials from UCLA. She taught briefly in a secondary school for the Los Angeles Unified School District, has tutored middle school children, operated a learning laboratory for learning disabled children for LAUSD, and worked with a preschool in the Watts Community. Ms. Kleinberg also worked for the Los Angeles Educational Partnership, a nonprofit organization committed to families. There she ran the Family Care Program in the Community of Pacoima for ten years. She also served on the Northeast Valley Board of the United Way. She served as the Chairperson for the Children’s Bureau Advisory Council in the San Fernando Valley in the 1980’s.
During her time on the Commission, Ms. Kleinberg has served on various committees and taskforces. She has previously served as the Commission Chair and she currently Co-chair’s the Family Reunification Work Group.
Ann Franzen was appointed to the Commission in July 2005. She is a community activist dedicated to advocacy for children and families. She has mentored groups of young wives and mothers, teaching classes ranging from simple home care and quality cooking to child rearing and home entertaining. Commissioner Franzen has furthered her promotion of healthy families through her work with the City of Bellflower, Kiwanis International association for Retarded Citizens and the Parent-Teacher Association. After many years as a licensed home daycare provider, Commissioner Franzen looks forward to furthering her support for children and families through the Commission for Children and Families. Currently she serves as the Commission’s representative on the Policy Roundtable for Child Care and Chair of the Faith-based Committee that is working towards developing partnerships between DCFS and the many faith-based organizations throughout the county.
Dr. Sunny Kang
Reverend Dr. Sunny Hong “Sunny” Kang was appointed by Supervisor Don Knabe to the Commission for Children and Families in August 2010. Dr. Kang graduated from Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. He received a Master of Divinity from Bethel Theological Seminary in St. Paul and was awarded Doctor of Divinity from United Theological Seminary in Philadelphia. His service to the community of 35 years includes teaching and developing programs assisting trans-racially adopted children dealing with issues of identity and self-evaluation. In addition, his ministerial credentials include being a Doctor of Ministry candidate at San Francisco Theological Seminary, and an extensive involvement in the Ministry since 1982, serving congregations of various denominations including Baptist, Presbyterian and United Methodist, among others.
He has worked on issues with foster children and social service agencies for vulnerable children in Florida, Illinois, Minnesota, Wisconsin and California. He has also assisted in providing training to social workers, therapists, and school counselors on the issues of racial ethnic identity development process of children and teens. While serving a congregation in the City of Torrance, he chaired the Faith-Based Committee that brought together more than 50 different faith groups to create programs and support for children and families whom DCFS was serving. Programs that Dr. Kang has been involved in include, but are not limited to: DCFS’ Holiday Party for teens in group homes and “Family Fun Day!”, event that drew an estimated 5,000 people, raised adoption awareness, funds to assist social workers with providing support for foster youth, and assisted in the creation of non-profit organizations that focus on special foster youth programs that provide fun activities, life skills, and positive role models for teens.
Commissioner Rudnick was appointed to the Commission in June 2001. Sandra has been involved in children’s issues for many years. She was chair of United Friends of the Children (UFC), a non profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children in the foster care system for 8 years. While a member of UFC, in partnership with the Department of Children and Families Services she developed and funded the first transitional housing program for emancipating foster youth in the county. Currently, Commissioner Rudnick serves as a vice chair of the Commission and is co-chair of the Prevention Committee which has developed a comprehensive plan to prevent children from entering the Dependency system, and to encourage stable families and permanency for young people in both probation and the foster care system.
Appointed to the Commission by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich, in 1995, Commissioner Patricia “Trisha” Curry has served five terms as Commission Chair and one term as Vice Chair. She has chaired or served on numerous Commission committees which include the Committees on Maclaren, Group Homes, START (Crossover youth), Emancipation, Relative Care, Permanency, Placement, and is currently co-chairing the Mental Health Committee.
Trisha represented the Commission, as a Commissioner, on First 5 L.A. when it was being created; she is currently representing the Commission again as a Commissioner on First 5 L.A. She also represented the Commission on the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Stakeholder’s Systems Leadership Team (SLT) and co-chaired the County MHSA Stakeholder’s Planning Committee for Transition Age Youth.
Much of her work has been focused on the issues facing Transition Age Youth (TAY) and the challenges they face moving out of foster care. She chaired the Emancipation Committee and was a member of the Emancipation Program Partnership (EPP) both created by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors (Board) and she is currently serving on the Self Sufficiency Committee, the Youth Development Services (YDS) Redesign Committee, and the ILP Budget Committee also created by the Board.
In addition to her work on the Commission, Trisha has been invited to testify at State hearings on issues related to children in foster care and invited to participate as a panelist at conferences on foster care. These include the Children’s Defense Fund Conference, the Juvenile Court Partnership Conferences, the Little Hoover Commission Hearings on Foster Care, Statewide Judicial Conference for Dependency Courts, the State hearings regarding confidentiality of minors in the dependency system, and the State Hearings for youth with a dependency or delinquency status.
Trisha was a CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocate for Children) volunteer for 10 years and honored as the CASA Volunteer of the Year. Other honors awarded to her include the Superior Court Volunteer of the Year Award and the Los Angeles County Volunteer of the Year Award.
Trisha was born in Los Angeles where her family has lived for six generations. She is part of a large family of two brothers, two sisters, 26 nieces, nephews, great nieces and nephews, as well as two step daughters and two grandchildren. She has been a business owner for 20 years, advising companies on their employee benefit plans.
Genevra (Gene) Berger
Following college and graduate school, where her concentration was English Literature, Gene accepted a job as a social worker with the Philadelphia Department of Social Services which became her first exposure to child welfare. After a year, she moved to Los Angeles where she worked for a short time as a Juvenile Probation Officer and then transferred to the Department of Public Social Services, initially as a social worker and later as a supervising social worker on adult and family caseloads. After seven years providing direct family services, she moved to administrative positions which varied over the next ten years from an analyst position in the early phases of computerized services to fiscal analysis to policy and systems development in the Bureau of Family Services (BFS). In 1984, she transferred as a manager with BSF to the newly-created Department of Family Services, later to be re-named the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).
During her 22-year management tenure in DCFS, Gene created the Quality Assurance Division, which was one of the first comprehensive audit disciplines for children's service provision, in the nation. As such, she developed protocols and operational policy to review social workers and county contractors for compliance with federal, state and county mandates, for fiscal and contract compliance and for social service delivery for effectiveness and quality, with specific emphasis on child safety. During these years, she also enlarged and refined an investigatory function for children re-abused while already in foster care, worked closely with the State in developing regulatory policy for a myriad of legislative changes and collaborated with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services in their development of federal child welfare review policy and protocols. Gene's 39-year career with the County ultimately combined a wealth of knowledge and experience in all facets of child welfare, from its legislative history to the social and drug related phenomena that expanded its perimeters in the 1970's, from its funding strategies to its fiscal allocation methodologies, from its direct service programs to the several major philosophical shifts in service delivery which occurred over this time period. After she retired in 2005, Gene consulted privately on child welfare matters in Florida, Texas, Illinois, California and, most recently, with L.A. County DCFS.
Sylvia Drew Ivie, Executive Office Liaison (213) 974-1558
to the Commission for Children and Families
Martha Arana, Commission Services, Executive Office (213) 974-1558
Vibiana Navarro, Commission Services, Executive Office (213) 974-1558
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